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Corny melodrama but all in all worth a watch, hard to feel sorry for this sad sap.
Albert Schlef -
Subject: Very good.
Excellent. The acting is very good. I even shed a tear.
Subject: The Bigamist.
This is a good film. I agree with the sociological aspects of the film stated below, so I won't reiterate them here. The film's pace is a tich slower than I like, but ultimately enjoyable. The high point apart from the story, would have to be the exterior shots of the LA area. The stars homes are the real homes of the stars they name (Jack Benney, Jimmy Stewart, Barbara Stanwyck, and Edmund Gwenn; who also co-stars in the film). The print quality could be better (but hey, it's free), as could the sound. The sound makes that blomp-y reel changing sound frequently (more frequently than it should). The print is overly dark through most of he flashback sequence (most of the film), which I attribute to degradation of the original print. Some shots, particularly of the Chinese restaurant have darkened to the point where they look like it was filmed with the lens cap on.
Still. I'd watch it, again, and it's the best print I've seen, so far!
Subject: The Bigamist
As for the film, it is wonderful. Ida Lupino, or "the poor man's Bette Davis" as she called herself, expertly handles a talented cast.
As for LeoF's suggestion that there is nothing morally wrong with polygamy I do not agree. I have no problem with same-sex relationships, but if polygamy is legalized in a few years people will be allowed to marry their dogs.
I am sick of people turning the blogs about films like John Wayne's "Angel and the Badman" into political discussions. If you want to talk government, go to some other blog. This is the Internet Archives. It's for MOVIES!!!!!
Subject: Profound Film
I agree with LeoF; this movie is well ahead of its time. The actors are perfectly casted and terrific, and the subject matter is one that is often lefted untouched in the movie industry. I didn't know whether to feel sorry for or be angry with the bigamist (Harry) throughout this film. Near the end, I felt more pity than anger for him. It's true, we all are human and are prone to make mistakes during life.
It was nice to see the man who played Santa in 'Miracle on 34th Street' (I think his name is Edmund Glenn?). I liked how that mentioned that role within this film during the bus scene.
This is a nice movie to view with a friend or group, and then have a discussion about it afterwards. 'Two thumps way up' to everyone involved in making this film. Beautifully done
Ida Lupino directs and co-stars in this earnest but ultimately dreary soaper of a traveling salesman who can't bring himself to disappoint either his current wife or his recently impregnated girlfriend, and ingeniously decides to simply get married a second time. Without divorcing the first wife, that is. Hilarity ensues....OK, not quite hilarity, more like sedation. I was more interested in the exteriors of 50s Los Angeles (and that DC-7) than in the contrived characters and their angst. Features Kris Kringle and a cast of unknowns - including a bar singer who somehow manages to coax an entire orchestral arrangement out of a small piano.
Subject: A moral dilemma
This is a profound and ultimately very sad movie. The American, Christian tradition has no room for legal polygamy. It is a bit trite to point out that the film was a generation or two ahead of the times. With Americas slugging it out today over same sex marriages and the legitimacy of, let us call it, cross species relationships, the idea of two wives seems pretty tame.
The actual story is a heartbreaker and it is hard to actually say anyone is a villain. Yet none are entirely victims either. The logic that drives the unfolding of this moral dilemma is very powerful. People are after all only human and make mistakes. So what to do when one brings a baby into the world. Not an easy question to answer except by the most arrogant of people. I suspect that most cases of bigamy do not involve such decent and loving people, who are so well off financially either.
I can't say what the intended moral of the film is supposed to be but my own is that whenever Government is involved in morality, there are bound to be problems.